One of the biggest St. Patrick's Day parades in the world has been cancelled in 2019 due to safety reasons.
In a statement on its website, the committee of the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Washington DC has said that it's “distraught to announce that the 2019 St Patrick’s parade is cancelled”.
“After the 2016 tragedy in Nice, France, the government of the District of Columbia has significantly increased preventative security requirements for public gatherings such as the St Patrick’s parade.
"The corresponding rapid increase in overhead, in combination with relatively stagnant funding, have put the committee in a precarious financial position.
“We have relied on this grant support for many years, but as costs have increased, recently the grant has not had the same effect in reducing our financial burden.
"This reality and the committee’s steadfast commitment to holding the St Patrick’s Parade of Washington, DC in 2020, its 50th year, have led us to the very difficult but necessary decision to cancel the 2019 St Patrick’s parade.
“Members of the committee proudly carry the torch of the original committee members who conceived of such a parade at a local watering hole in the late 1960s and produced the first-ever St Patrick’s parade in Washington in 1971.
“The greatest overhead in producing an event of this magnitude is the government-related expense of security and street closures," it concluded.
Fundraising events for the 2020 parade will not be impacted by the decision, the committee added.
The first St. Patrick's Day Parade in Washington was held in 1971, starting at Dupont Circle and finishing at the statue of Robert Emmet.